Duxbury selectmen this week expressed their dissatisfaction with the way the Pine Street water main project has turned out and said they hoped a solution could be found to mitigate the impact of having an above ground iron pipe running along Lake Shore Drive properties.

 

The Pine Street water main was funded by the 2012 annual town meeting at a cost of $1.021 million. The new water mains were needed to bring town water to Pine Street and Lake Shore Drive because residents in those areas had water quality issues in their wells. The new main also eliminates dead-end pipes on roads with town water, such as Millpond Lane, Chandler Mill Road and Hitty Tom Road. Water rates funded the project.

The majority of the water main is buried underground but there is a section that runs above ground near a dam. Ac- cording to Department of Public Works director Peter Buttkus, the state Department of Dam Safety refused to let the main go through the dam. Another alternative, running the main through the pond, was not acceptable to the DPW, said Buttkus, because it would make it difficult to detect leaking pipes and repair them.

Instead, a portion of the pipe comes up out of the ground and runs along the street, said Buttkus.

Selectman Shawn Dahlen questioned Buttkus as to whether the pipe was supposed to have been buried along its entire length.

“That was our intention from the get go,” said Buttkus. “This is not what we wanted either. This is all being driven by Dam Safety. We tried many times to get them out on site to meet with us as we felt this was a little excessive but they refused to do so.”

“From an aesthetic standpoint, that was the most nega- tive way to do it,” said Dahlen, of the current design.

He wondered if the pipe could be located lower on a slope further off the road to make it less noticeable.

Selectman Ted Flynn asked if the above ground portion of the pipe could be placed underground “sooner” so less of it would be showing.

Russ Erickson, who lives at 9 Lake Shore Drive, is the abutter who is impacted the most by the above ground wa- ter main. He said it cuts off a part of his land, making it difficult to mow. He is upset the town never notified neighbors it intended to run the pipe above the street and says he has emails from the state to the town’s engineer, Environmental Partners of Quincy, which show there are alternatives to placing the pipe where it cur- rently rests. Erickson also of- fered the town an easement if it needed one to fix the problem.

Buttkus and Water Superintendent Peter Mackin plan to meet with Dam Safety and the engineer at the site of the pipe on Wednesday to see if they can find a solution to the unsightly pipe. Selectmen urged them to explore alternatives such as running the pipe at a lower elevation or putting more of it underground.

Mackin said there is $220,000 left in the budget for this project should changes be made.

The streets with the buried water main are scheduled to be paved this month, said Buttkus. He assured selectmen that he would postpone paving in the raised main area until after the issue is resolved.